Adoption Myths, Busted

In my first post about this topic, I expressed my desire to abolish the stigma placed on women who choose to place their baby for adoption. Now, obviously I realize that me posting this won’t suddenly change things. But maybe, just maybe, a young, scared pregnant girl may one day be online, looking for someone to say that everything is going to be okay. And maybe…just maybe, she’ll run into my blog and see these posts. If I can just make one person feel better about a decision they’re wanting to make or even make her realize that perhaps she wants to re-think that decision, that’s totally enough to make this series completely worth it.

During my research for this project, I was taken aback by the overwhelming amount of negative sources that appeared. It frightens me that a young girl, who may be scared and is looking for a little guidance may run into one of these hateful, shameful sites and get the wrong idea about what it means to place your baby up for adoption. I came across one particularly awful site (I don’t even want to share the link, so as not to promote this filth) which claimed that, “Adoption is the punishment for middle-class white women who become pregnant.” That statement is not only completely untrue, but it’s also disgusting that anyone would say or think such a thing. Adoption is not a form of punishment. It is an option that birth mothers have available if they feel that keeping the baby is not the best thing for the child.

This site also insinuates that adoption agencies (which they have called,”predators”) try to “trick” you into giving your baby away by promising you an open adoption that they would later intend on revoking. This is bonkers. Agencies act as the median between adoptive family and birth parents, they bring both parties together and help them create a plan that is right for them and for the baby. Granted, there are people out there who claim to be associated with an agency that will not act in your best interest or that of your baby’s, but there is a very simple way to avoid that by doing your research when looking for an agency to help you with finding a home for your child.

They also imply that an infant knows the difference between his or her birth mother and an adoptive parent and that the child will somehow suffer from being separated from it’s biological parents. I sincerely think this is false. I have known many people who are adopted and all of them love their parents just as much as I love my own. Just because they know that they were adopted by their families, didn’t change the fact that their adoptive parents were still “mom and dad” to them, regardless of biology. Most of them didn’t even find out they were adopted until later in life.

Typically people who want to adopt are those who (for whatever reason) can not have children of their own and I can only imagine that they want a child so much that they’re willing to take in another woman’s baby and raise it as their own. I think that takes a very special and loving person. So, for this installment- since there is so much bad information out there- I’m going to find all the other myths concerning adoption and also find out the truth. So here we go!

MYTHS V. FACTS ABOUT ADOPTION

MYTH: Infant adoption is an industry in which young unwed (and thus powerless) parents are persuaded – through force, coercion or outright lies – to transfer parental rights of their children to older, more affluent couples (and sometimes also single people), and usually strangers.

TRUTH: This is totally false. For one thing, a pregnant woman is the one who decides whether or not she wants to pursue adoption. Agencies don’t get a list of newly pregnant women and harass them to try to get them to choose adoption for their child. That simply doesn’t happen. Most reputable agencies work with you every step of the way and they will not continue with the placing if you’re uncertain. That’s according to Adopting.org.

Secondly, not all mothers-to-be are unwed. Some married couples simply don’t want kids. Some already have all the kids they want or can afford and believe that God gave them another child so that they can have the opportunity to give that child to a couple who can’t have any of their own. For this resource, I simply searched the question, “Do married couples place their babies for adoption?” and the first source I found was someone who posted this very question on yahoo. While informal, this a great resource because it comes from real people in this very situation. I also found this article by the New York Times about a real family who became pregnant and chose to place their baby for adoption.

MYTH: No woman can make a decision about her baby until she actually holds it in her arms, has it in her life – even then, the transition from pregnancy into motherhood must be smoothed by wise counsel and the support for all new mothers.

While it’s true that you may feel differently once the baby is born, this doesn’t mean that you’re making blind decisions if you choose to pursue adoption options while you’re still pregnant. There’s a saying that I heard quite a few times while I was pregnant, “A man becomes a father when his child is born, but a woman becomes a mother the moment she finds out that she’s pregnant.” Speaking from my own experience, I started bonding with my son shortly after finding out that I was expecting. I remember one night, after attending a friend’s birthday gathering, I decided to go to sleep while Adam wanted to stay up a little longer and decided to watch TV. I was sitting on our bed, hand on my belly (which had not yet begun to swell) and for reasons that I can’t pinpoint, I started softly singing Richard Marx to my growing fetus- more specifically “Right Here Waiting”. In that moment, as I gingerly stroked my belly and sang to my unborn child, I felt him. More connected than I had ever felt to a human being.

A mother can feel a connection to her baby when she feels it kick inside her for the first time. The first time she has a craving for a food she would’ve never eaten before being pregnant. The first time she notices a forming baby bump. The first time she sees a family while out and about and realizes that in a few months, she will have what they have. A woman can make a decision about her baby at any point during or after her pregnancy because from the moment that test comes up positive, she’s changed forever.

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